Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ten (Plus) Rules

Alright, so I found this great two-part article from The Guardian today that can be found here, with suggestions from a number of amazing writers -- some of my favorites included Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, and Joyce Carol Oats -- which I want to dissect and discuss a little bit throughout my next few posts.

Multiple authors said to ditch prologues.

Hilary Mantel says more specifically, "Be aware that anything that appears before 'Chapter One' may be skipped. Don't put your vital clue there."

Dun, dun, dun...The novel I'm working on has a prologue, and with some dismay I'll even admit I've got a vital clue nestled in there. It kind-of sets the whole feel...

 Not wanting to believe, yet, that I should rework that part of my story, I flipped through a few of my favorite books' beginnings.

No prologues, except in one, and yes I remember skipping it the first time I read the book so then I felt lost for the for the first 1/3 of the story, at which point I went back and read the prologue.

So now my question is: why do we make prologues? To give the reader back story, I know, but why not just make it "Chapter One," or spread it throughout the piece like we do with other back story?


Needless to say, I'm reworking my novel. Again. (And I daresay it's reworking me)

Hours logged today: 4    Pages logged today: 3    Total pages logged today : 98

Moment of Magic today:

I'm reminded today that music, like words -- often with words -- bring back memories you can relive in your head. This magic. Waltz #2 was a song that waifted up from the bottom of a tunnel in the fish market while Hubs and I walked hand-in-hand, looking at trinkets and things. We were full of good beer, battered fish & chips, and shy new love. When I hear this song I'm full again.


  1. I agree with the authors about prologues. I normally always skip the prologues. Well, normally mean always until a few years ago and now I do read them, but I do think most readers skip them.

  2. Good to know, on all accounts. No more prologue-writing for me. Sort of freeing, in a way -- prologues are like comfort blankets, eh?

    And then I was going to give a couple of reasons I think prologues are like comfort blankets, but it'd be more interesting to see what other people think...


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